Christian Blind Mission hires northeast regional director
by Claudia Mathis / SUN staff writer
Gregory Griffin felt a calling to do something greater. With 15 years of development experience with educational and disability not-for-profits including Syracuse University, St. Lawrence University and the Muscular Dystrophy Association, Griffin posted his resume on a Web site and was offered the position of Northeast Regional Director with Christian Blind Mission (CBM) last August. “As a fund raiser, I felt my God-given talents were to be out raising money for something greater for the world,” said Griffin.
Griffin lives in Liverpool with his wife Casey and their three daughters. He served as an altar boy at St. Joseph’s Church in Camillus in his youth. Today, he and his family are parishioners of St. John’s Church in Liverpool.
As regional director for CBM, Griffin cultivates relationships with individual donors as well as religious and humanitarian organizations that support CBM’s mission and regional foundations.
According to www.cbmus.org, CBM is the world’s leading humanitarian organization improving the quality of life for children and adults with disabilities living in 106 of the world’s poorest countries. Last year, CBM helped more than 21 million people, funding more than 1,000 projects for children and adults with disabilities through prevention, treatment, rehabilitation and an economic start.
The organization focuses on helping those with visual, hearing, physical and mental disabilities.
“Our goal is to raise the awareness for CBM’s work and strengthen our donor base in the northeast region,” said CBM-US CEO Ron Nabors. “Greg has a tremendous passion and enthusiasm for CBM’s vision. We believe that with his help, we will be able to impact more children and adults who desperately need the life-sustaining support that our ministry provides around the world.”
Griffin’s strong Catholic faith and his belief in the Gospel have been a driving force behind his search for something greater to work for. “I asked my higher power to give me guidance,” said Griffin. He said he always had a special place in his heart for the disabled and feels compelled to help them.
After Griffin began job hunting, he was contacted by a recruiter from a faith-based organization. “This was a message to me that my prayers had been answered,” said Griffin. He interviewed with CBM and was struck by the way the organization was so well-respected. He was offered a position there. “It was a wonderful opportunity for me,” said Griffin. “I didn’t realize that it would launch me on a new spiritual journey.”
Griffin said his goal is to visit as many people as he can to build visibility and support for CBM’s ministry. He has met with people of many different Christian denominations. “I’m constantly amazed at how these wonderful Christians manifest their faith,” said Griffin. “It’s helped me in my own personal life and how I live it. Their interpretation has helped me to strengthen my faith. It’s inspiring to visit people with so many approaches, and it’s been wonderful to experience the wide gamut of faiths.”
Griffin has also focused on spreading CBM’s ministry to local faith communities, especially St. John’s, where he is a member of the parish council.
“I’ve spoken to a number of parishes,” he said. “So many of the parishioners are encouraged to support those in need in our local area, but this is a good time to offer them an opportunity to contribute to something beyond what they have been supporting.”
In some poor regions of the world, blinding diseases like trachoma or river blindness are rampant.
CBM’s recently-launched Miracles of Sight Campaign provides mobile medical clinics with enough essential medicines to rid communities of trachoma and river blindness, outreach workers with critical nutrients like vitamin A to save the sight of malnourished children as well as health care clinics and hospitals with the resources to provide eyelid rotation and cataract surgeries for young children and adults.
Griffin said it is very cost-effective to provide this care to the afflicted. The cost of cataract surgery in other countries is $45 and the cost to provide vitamin A tablets to an individual for one year is 60 cents. “The impact of our giving is truly spectacular in what we can accomplish,” said Griffin.